The Best Classical CDs of 2010: Some Ideas for Holiday Gift-Giving

Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we speak by phone with Tim Smith, the classical music and drama critic for The Baltimore Sun. Smith has also written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC Music Magazine, Opera News, and other publications. His book from 2002, "The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music," can now be found (as Smith himself puts it, in the "bio" section of his fun-to-read blog) "on the most discerning remainder racks." Here are some of Smith's faves from 2010 --- as discussed on today's StudioTulsa, yet otherwise in no particular order:

Nelson Freire --- "Chopin Nocturnes" (Decca)

Christine Brewer --- "Great Strauss Scenes" (Telarc)

Gustavo Dudamel and The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra --- "RITE: Stravinsky / Revueltas" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Jeffrey Biegel --- "Bach on a Steinway" (Steinway & Sons)

Vittorio Grigolo --- "The Italian Tenor" (Sony)

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Conducted by Marin Alsop --- "Dvorak: Symphony 6" (Naxos)

Jonathan Leshnoff --- "Forgotten Chants and Refrains" (Naxos)

That's the rundown, dear listeners. Happy holidays!